What is Better for SEO? Desktop, Laptop or Tablet? PC or Mac?
By Charles Moffat - June 2011.
Contrary to the popular opinion of Apple fans (or should I say fanatics?), Macs are not the best at all tasks. Truth be told graphic designers only use Macs because printing companies all use Macs. It has nothing to do with the quality of the operating system or software.
I should note that I used Macs during high school, university and at various work places. I've been using Macs since 1993 and I absolutely hate them. They're annoyingly slow to work with, difficult to multitask with, have compatibility problems, annoying to save files in... and frankly all the fuss about Apple claiming to be better is pure hype. As someone who has used both Macs and PCs, I prefer a PC every time I sit down to work.
When doing Search Engine Optimization I prefer a desktop PC and I shall explain why.
#1. SEO is often about "grunt work". It can be monotonous and boring, and you're often multitasking between different programs. PCs are better designed for multitasking applications. When you use a Mac your program windows will get confusing and its more difficult to switch between them. Sometimes people just end up getting confused and they can't find the folder they were just using. You need a machine that is capable of multitasking with ease.
#2. When editing files for the internet you often are dealing with multiple file types, including Flash files, etc. On a tablet some of these files cannot be opened at all. The Apple iPad for example cannot use Flash files.
#3. When doing a repetitive task its important that you the user are comfortable, otherwise the task will become very annoying to keep doing. Constantly moving your finger around on a tablet computer, switching between fingering and typing on the tablet's keyboard (which is really not designed for typing at any great speed) means you are going to be two things: Uncomfortable and not progressing very quickly. The same rules apply when using a laptop that doesn't have a mouse. Desktop computers are just faster for these purposes.
#4. Laptop is definitely better than Tablet. When you count the items above, 1 to 3, you see that tablets aren't very good at multitasking, they're not compatible with all files, and they're annoying slow and uncomfortable to use. The only really good thing about a tablet is "kewlness factor" when talking to clients. Otherwise they're very slow and annoying to try and work on. They may feel "more fun" to work on initially, but trust me if you try doing monotonous tasks on a tablet you will pretty soon want to throw it out the window.
#5. Upgrades... When new software becomes available it is always available for Windows first. Macs come second. Likewise with hardware upgrades a PC is easy to open up, pop in the new hardware, connect the wires, restart the computer and load any new software you need. On a Mac you will probably have to visit a store to do it... On a laptop you will need someone who has experience upgrading laptop hardware, which usually means a trip to the store.
#6. Operating Systems... On a desktop computer you can always update the Operating System whenever you feel like it. The most difficult part is whipping out your credit card. On a laptop you have to be more picky. Not all operating systems will work on a laptop. On an iPad tablet you don't even get a choice. You are stuck with the operating system it came with.
Now some professionals out there will doubtless disagree with me (because they're hardcore Apple fanatics), but they will be hardpressed to try and win the argument that a tablet or a laptop can compete with a desktop when it comes to versatility and ease of use.
Regardless of what you choose to use, your decision should be based on your ability to get the job done with the least amount of work needed. If you are being slowed down by a clumsy tablet interface its because you really should not be doing serious work with a tablet. A tablet is just a gadget, a side dish, a cherry on top that looks pretty. Same goes with a laptop... its designed to be portable and usable, but its not the ideal machine for the job.
And if Apple ever comes out with a Mac that can actually hold its own against a PC in terms of versatility and ease of use, good for them, but in the meantime I recommend a PC when doing any kind of SEO or website design work.